The story in this movie deals with the perseverance of Spaniards to take back their country from the French who have conquered Spain under Napoleon as he marched over Europe. A huge cannon, perhaps the largest in the world at that time, is discarded by the army as they retreat from the French invaders. A “ragtag” group of Spanish loyalists find “The Gun” and begin to restore it so they may tow it across Spain to the French stronghold in Avila and use it to open the giant walls for an invasion. Luckily Britain has sent someone to retrieve the cannon for England so they can have it to fight the French also AND to make sure that the French don’t get the gun! A shoemaker and his voluptuous girl friend are the leaders of the peasants trying to get the gun to Avila. The Brit can’t get help to get the giant gun back to his ship without the peasants and the shoemaker won’t help him unless they all go blast Avila open first… —IMDb
Stanley Kramer made his reputation during the 1950s and 60s as one of the few producers and directors willing to tackle issues most studios sought to avoid, such as racism, the Holocaust and nuclear annihilation. He came to Hollywood an aspiring writer and hooked on with MGM, working first as a scenery mover and carpenter and then in their research department before spending three years there as an editor. He wrote for radio as well as for Columbia and Republic Studios for awhile, but it was as a strong-willed independent producer that Kramer would finally make his mark. Though his first feature (“So This Is New York”, 1948) flopped, he hit his stride with his next one, the intense and exciting anti-boxing pic “Champion” (1949), which propelled Kirk Douglas to stardom and launched Mark Robson’s career as an important director.
The series of commercially successful economy productions that followed, by turns prestigious and socially responsible and all scripted by “Champion” screenwriter… read more